The United States expresses its deep concern that the Ukrainian Rada pushed through several controversial measures today without adhering to proper procedures. Some of these measures will restrict the right to peacefully protest and exercise the freedom of speech, constrain independent media, and inhibit the operation of NGOs. If Ukraine truly aspires to a European future, it must defend and advance universal democratic principles and values that underpin a Europe whole, free, and at peace, and not allow them to be systematically dismantled.
We call on the Government of Ukraine to ensure its legislation reflects Ukraine’s democratic commitments to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the wishes of its people to exercise their fundamental freedoms of speech, assembly, and association. Both the process and the substance of the Rada’s actions today cast serious doubt on Ukraine’s commitment to democratic norms. A true democracy cannot function without dialogue, compromise, the right to peaceful dissent, and a legislature that enjoys the people’s trust.